Boosting Capacity to Cope with Climate Change in Zimbabwe

Feb 25, 2016

Investment in information and communication technologies is a vital component of Zimbabwe’s strategy for improving national institutions’ capacity to cope with challenges posed by climate change, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate, Mr Prince Mupazviriho, has said.

“We need to be well prepared at the country level in dealing with climate change and therefore there is need for increased capacity at the Ministry” he stressed, adding that IT is necessary to strengthen research, modelling and other critical office functions.

The PS was speaking at a ceremony held at the Ministry’s office in Harare on 25 February, 2016 to mark the presentation of IT and office equipment donated by UNDP. These included one vehicle, twelve desktop computers, four printers and laptops as well as one projector.

Among those in attendance were senior Ministry officials, UNDP Country Director, Verity Nyagah, and representatives from other UN agencies as well as NGOs.

“UNDP is pleased to be associated with this initiative that will go a long way in improving the institutional capacity of the Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate to mainstream climate change adaptation” explained the Country Director, Verity Nyagah.

 “Under the new UNDP Country Programme (2016-2020), we will continue this support with focus on increasing awareness among small-scale holder farmers and policy makers about the adaptation options as well as knowledge and understanding of climate risk” said Ms Nyagah.

The equipment was availed to the Ministry thanks to the Strengthening National Capacity for Climate Change in Zimbabwe, a joint programme coordinated by the UNDP and the Ministry. The thrust of the initiative is on mainstreaming climate change in national development plans and programmes, and leveraging resources from global financing mechanisms as well as bilateral and multilateral donors.

Other UN agencies involved in the programme are FAO, IOM, UNIDO, UNICEF, INIC and UNESCO.

Zimbabwe’s vulnerability to climate hazards is demonstrated by the current drought situation, which has affected large parts of the country. In response to a Declaration of Disaster by the President of Zimbabwe Hon. R.G Mugabe, the Government launched an International Appeal for assistance to mitigate the impact of the El Nino-induced drought. This development was preceded by a Domestic Appeal made to Government Ministries and the private sector on 9 February, 2016.  

Accordingly, the country requires nearly $1.5 billion to respond to the needs of approximately 3 million vulnerable people between February and December 2016.

With more investments in adaptation measures, Zimbabwe will be in a better position to deal with such disasters in the future.

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